SBA Celebrates 200,000th Graduate of Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Program for Veterans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is celebrating the 200,000th graduate of its Boots to Business (B2B) program. This landmark event underscores the critical role of military-connected entrepreneurs in bolstering the nation’s economy. It marks over a decade of commitment to fostering entrepreneurial skills among veterans and military families.

SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman highlighted the importance of the B2B program in empowering veterans transitioning to civilian life, especially against the backdrop of a surge in new business applications under President Biden’s administration. “The Boots to Business program is set up to provide transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses with an introduction to business fundamentals to help them successfully make the jump from service to startup with the full resources of the SBA,” Guzman stated.

Boots to Business: Bridging Military Service and Entrepreneurship

The B2B initiative, a cornerstone of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP), is designed to introduce transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses to business fundamentals. The program has expanded to include Boots to Business Reboot (B2BR), offering the same valuable curriculum to veterans of any era, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses outside the military installation environment.

Despite challenges such as severe winter weather, the commitment of the military community to advancing their entrepreneurial education is evident. Mitchell Fitzpatrick, a B2B instructor, praised the resilience and adaptability of veterans and military spouses who braved difficult conditions to attend the course. “These are the qualities that will set them apart in the business world,” Fitzpatrick remarked.

A Continuous Journey of Learning and Growth

The B2B program acknowledges the myriad challenges participants face, from relocation to financial stability. It emphasizes the ongoing support available through the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) and the SBA’s extensive resource network. Fitzpatrick’s message to students is clear: “You’re not alone. Whether you’re contemplating business ownership or looking to grow an existing business, resources are available to assist you.”

In addition to the B2B program, the SBA celebrated another milestone with the 3,000th graduate of the Boots to Business Revenue Readiness (B2B RR) course in November 2023. Offered by Mississippi State University, this six-week course focuses on developing a business plan through interactive virtual discussions, helping veterans, service members, and military spouses advance their entrepreneurial ambitions.

Shannon Arick, a B2B RR graduate, shared the impact of the program on her business journey. “The military taught me the value of solid training. Boots to Business Revenue Readiness equipped me with the knowledge to establish and maintain a successful business,” she said.

Looking Ahead

With over 1,200 B2B and B2B Reboot classes conducted in Fiscal Year 2023, both in-person and virtually, the program’s curriculum has been updated to include new modules, exercises, and more. These courses, accessible through SBA district offices, resource partners, and grant partners, offer a comprehensive toolkit for military entrepreneurs.

As the SBA continues to support the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation’s veterans, the success of programs like Boots to Business and Boots to Business Revenue Readiness highlights the invaluable contribution of military-connected entrepreneurs to the U.S. economy and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem.

For more information on the Boots to Business program and to view the current course schedule, visit the SBA website at

Image: SBA

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor at Small Business Trends. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.

One Reaction
  1. Great program. Glad to hear they’ve been able to help so many veterans.

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